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Bharat Ratna (or 'Jewel of India') was instituted by the first President of India, Dr RajendraPrasad, on 2 January 1954. It is India's highest civilian award and is given each year by the President of India "for exceptional service towards the advancement of Art, Literature, Science and in recognition of public service of the highest order". It was scrapped by the Janata Party Government on 13th July 1977 but was revived on 26th January 1980 by the Congress-I government.

The Bharat Ratna Award (along with the three Padma Awards) was not given during 1993-1996, pending the Supreme Court judgement on the constitutional validity of the Civilian Awards. These awards were revived in 1997 after the Supreme Court gave a verdict on 15th December, 1995 upholding the constitutional validity of these awards.

The actual award is designed in the shape of a peepal leaf on which the words "Bharat Ratna" are inscribed in the Devanagari script. The reverse side of the medal carries the state emblem and motto. The award is attached to a two-inch wide ribbon, and was designed to be worn around the recipient's neck.

The holders of the Bharat Ratna do not carry any special titles but are placed 7th in the Order of Precedence i.e. immediately after Chief Ministers.

There is no strict or formal provision that the recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award ought to be Indian citizens. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987) and Nelson Mandela (1990) were the two foreign nationals to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna award. Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) was the only naturalized Indian to be conferred with this award.

The only instance of the Bharat Ratna award being withdrawn was in 1992, when the award given posthumously to  freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was  withdrawn on the directives of the Supreme Court of India as the government could not give conclusive evidence of Netaji’s death.

|| Recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award||


Padma Awards, instituted in 1954, are India's highest civilian awards next in importance only to the Bharat Ratna. These awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of the Republic Day every year. The awards are conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan sometime around March/ April.

|| Recipients of the Padma Award 2011 & 2010||

|| Recipients of the Padma Award 2009 & 2008||


The Sahitya Akademi Awards are one of the most prestigious literary awards of India conferred by the Sahitya Akademi of India.

2010 Awards

Litterateurs in 24 Indian languages, including Bani Basu in Bengali, Esther David in English, Uday Prakash in English and Sheen Kaaf Nizam in Urdu, were honoured with 'Sahitya Akademi Awards 2010' in New Delhi at the 'Festival of Letters.' The Bengali writer was given the award, a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1,00,000 for her novel 'Khana Mihirer Dhipi', while Esther David received the honour for her fiction 'Book of Rachel'.  Well-known Hindi writer and journalist Uday Prakash (60) won for his collection of short stories 'Mohan Das'. Sixty-six-year-old Sheen Kaaf Nizam was honoured for his collection of poems 'Gumshuda Dair ki Gunjti' for stylistic innovations and experimentations in the form of poetry.

Janata Dal (Secular) leader Veerendra Kumar was also among the awardees for his travelogue "Haimavathabhuvil" in Malayalam language. The other winners include poets Aurobindi Uzir (Bodo), Arun Sakhardande (Konkani), Gopi Narayan Pradhan (Nepali), Vanita (Punjabi), Mangat Badal (Rajasthani), Mithila Prasad Tripathi (Sanskrit) and Laxman Dubey (Sindhi).  Manoj (Dogri) and Nanjil Nadan (Tamil) were given the honour for their collection of short stories.

Besides, Keshada Mahanta (Assamese), Rahmath Tarikere (Kannada), Basher Bashir (Kashmiri) and Ashok R Kelkar (Marathi) received the award for their books in the criticism genre. An autobiography and play writers won in Oriya and Santhali language category respectively.

Awards in Telugu and Maithili language went to Syed Saleem for his novel 'Kaluthunna Poolathota' and Ushakiran Khan for her fiction 'Bhamati' respectively.


The Sahitya Akademi grants three types of fellowships: Sahitya Akademi Honorary Fellowship, Anand Fellowship and Premchand Fellowship. The ‘Sahitya Akademi Honorary Fellowship’ is the highest honour conferred by the Akademi on a writer and is reserved for ‘the immortals of literature’ and limited to 21 only at any given time. The ‘Anand Fellowship’ was instituted in 1996 in memory of the great scholar Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy and is offered to scholars from Asian countries to pursue literary projects of their choice. The ‘Premchand Fellowship’ was instituted during his 125th Birth Anniversary of Munshi Premchand in 2005 and is given to scholars doing research on Indian literature or to creative writers from the countries of the SAARC region other than India.

2010 Awards

Eminent writer, historian and columnist Khushwant Singh was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2010, an honour reserved for the “immortals of literature”. Mr. Singh has been writing a column for 60 years and has penned over 100 books. His “Train to Pakistan” and “A History of the Sikhs” are examples of highest achievements in fiction and historical writing.



The Bhasha Samman was instituted by the Sahitya Akademi in 1996 and is given to writers, scholars, editors, collectors, performers or translators who have made significant contribution to the propagation, modernization or enrichment of the 24 languages recognized by the Akademi. In addition, it is also given to scholars who have done valuable work in the field of classical and medieval literature. The Samman carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a plaque and citation.

2010 Awards

A noted Punjabi scholar and a Telugu veteran have been chosen for Bhasha Samman for 2010 by the Sahitya Akademi for their contributions in the field of classical and medieval literature.

Punjabi scholar Gurudev Singh has been chosen for the honour from the Northern region while Telugu researcher-critic Korlapati Sriramamurthy has been selected from the Southern region, the Akademi said. Mr. Singh has compiled an Encyclopaedia of Sufi Poetry and Thoughts and also the History of Sufi Punjabi Poetry and also written books in Gurumukhi script and translated texts from Persian and Arabic.

Bhasha Sammans have also been announced for eight scholars and writers in languages like Avadhi, Garhwali and Kachchhi which are not recognised by the Akademi. The writers selected for the honour are Madhav Joshi ‘Ashq' and Tejpal Darshi ‘Tej' for Kachchhi, Vishwanath Pathak for Avadi, Ram Narayan Sharma and Kailash Nehari Dwivedi for Bundeli, Niranjan Chakma for Chakma language, and Sudama Prasad Premi and Prem Lal Bhatt for Garhwali.


The General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi at its meeting held on 19 January 2011 elected two (2) eminent personalities in the field of performing arts, namely Girija Devi and Nataraj Ramakrishna as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows ('Akademi Ratna'). The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honour, which is restricted to a very limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 34 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The General Council of the Akademi also selected thirty eight (38) persons from the fields of Music, Dance, Theatre and Puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards ('Akademi Puraskar') for the year 2010.

In the field of Music, nine eminent artists, namely Chhannu Lal Mishra and Yashpal for Hindustani Vocal Music, Budhaditya Mukherjee (Sitar) and Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Suguna Purushothaman and Mysore Nagamani Srinath for Carnatic Vocal Music, Nagai R Muralidharan (Violin) and Srimushnam V Raja Rao (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and M V Simhachala Sastry (Harikatha) for Other Major Traditions of Music have been selected for the Akademi Award 2010.

In the field of Dance, nine eminent practitioners, namely Malabika Mitra (Kathak), Kalamandalam K.G. Vasudevan (Kathakali), Phanjoubam Iboton Singh (Manipuri), Ratna Kumar (Kuchipudi), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Manik Borbayan (Sattriya), Uttara Asha Coorlawala (Creative & Experimental Dance), Kalamandalam Painkulam Rama Chakyar (Other Major Traditions of Dance & Dance Theatre – Kutiyattam) and S Rajeshwari (Music for Dance - Bharatanatyam) have been selected for the Akademi Award 2010.

In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons have been selected for Akademi Awards 2010. They include D Vizai Bhaskar (Telugu) and Atamjeet Singh (Punjabi) for Playwriting, Veenapani Chawla and Urmil Kumar Thapaliyal for Direction and Dilip Prabhavalkar, Banwari Taneja, Maya Krishna Rao and Swatilekha Sengupta for Acting.

For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre and Puppetry, ten artists have been selected for the Akademi Award. They are Harbhajan Singh Namdhari for Gurbani Kirtan (Punjab), Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi & Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi (Joint Award) for Qawwali (Andhra Pradesh), Dwijen Mukherjee for Rabindra Sangeet (West Bengal), T Somasundaram for Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu), Krishna Kumari for Folk Music- Bhakha (Jammu & Kashmir), Chanda Jagdish Tiwadi for Folk Theatre - Bharud (Maharashtra), K Chinna Anjannamma for Tolu Bommalata – Shadow Puppetry (Andhra Pradesh), and K V Ramakrishnan & K C Ramakrishnan (Joint Award) for Pava Kathakali – Glove Puppetry (Kerala).

Ashok D. Ranade will receive the Akademi Award 2010 for Scholarship in Performing Arts (Music) and Jaidev Taneja will receive the Award for Overall Contribution to Performing Arts (Theatre).


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